So far, only two schools offer the quintessentially-French sport, which is also sometimes known colloquially as ‘boules’. They are the professional lycée Montesquieu in Valence (Drôme), and another in Saint-Maximin (Var), reports Le Figaro.
The students have four hours’ of pétanque lessons a week, but are not graded, so that they are encouraged to improve their confidence and ability without judgement.
The Federation has helped to train the lycées’ pétanque teachers, and financed all the necessary equipment, as part of its efforts to raise its profile in light of the possibility that pétanque could be an Olympic sport by 2024.
In the hope that a future French pétanque champion is still in lycée, the Federation has its sights on spreading regular pétanque classes to other establishments.
This will, it hopes, boost awareness of the sport and improve playing skills among younger people, as well as bust the myth that pétanque is an ‘old person’s game’.
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France